The captain was in a stupor. He just leaned back in his camp chair and looked at me with a glazed expression.
“Sunday School,” I uttered. It brought the captain back to the present from wherever his mind had traveled.
“What?” he said.
“Sunday School is where I got my teaching skills. I had a class of rambunctious boys for about two years. I learned how to get their attention, and they were quite pliable after we had a few serious discussions.”
The captain grinned, but then wiped it off his face and gave me a serious stare.
“I was going to offer you a chance to be a military agent for the regional cavalry command. My colonel had put his stamp on it after I told him of your help in the past, but I must admit your story gives me pause. I will have to ponder on what you have told me and how to proceed. I do not want this to impinge upon our friendship.”
I smiled and said, “No offense taken. I appreciate the initial vote of confidence. I know it is hard to absorb all that I have told you. However, in regard to the position you would have offered, I don’t think I am qualified to occupy that station. I would rather try to find some peace at this time. Hopefully, all the violent goings on are over, and I can just be a schoolteacher.” Putting out my hand I added, “Thank you again for your confidence.”
The captain stood up, heartily shook my hand, and put on his hat.
“I will walk with you to the edge of camp,” he declared.
We walked in silence. The captain sort of leaned forward with his hands clasped behind his back and appeared to be in deep thought. About 15 feet from the soldier on picket duty, he stopped, turned to me, and asked, “Would you be willing to do one job for me before you enter into this serene life you are seeking?”
I thought, “He has me between a rock and a hard place. I can’t turn him down.” Thinking quickly I avowed, “I will be glad to do anything for a friend.”
“Good,” he said. “I’ll be getting back to you shortly.”
We shook hands again, and I started for Hattie’s place.